Build the Kids a Pallet Playhouse!

Step 14: Building the double “ice cream window”

Building the double ‘ice cream window’

Here they are, complete and ready for their casing. This will be the front, gable-end double window.

Step 15: Ice cream window, continued

Building the double ‘ice cream window’ – 2

I built a frame for the whole works out of some 2×6 lumber a nice guy in a nearby town gave me. He posted it on Craigslist and gave me a whole bunch of 2×6’s, 2×8’s, and 2×10’s. The joints are simply butted and screwed together with two inch deck screws. The “hinges” are pieces of an old dowel I had.

I would later build a rough opening for the whole thing, slide it in, and fasten it with long screws into the playhouse. I measured ahead; the overall depth of the window matched combined width of the framing, the siding, and the interior paneling. It was a simple matter to attach mouldings to the exterior and interior when it was time for the finish work. I also later added two handles, some wood strips to make it weather-tight, and a simple hook and eye lock to keep it shut when not in use.

If you look at the finished product in the later photos, you’ll see that there are also wooden “x’s” in each pane. These were simply glued, directly to the glass.

Image Notes
1. I made the “hinges” from an old wood dowel.

Step 16: The diamond-shaped porthole

Making the diamond shaped window

The diamond window was easy. I made the frame the same way, then cut a diamond shape and screwed it to the top. I glazed it later on with some old window putty to make it water tight.

 

Step 17: Finally– the real work! The playhouse floor/deck.

Setting the floor and deck

 

I finally got tired of fooling around in the garage and decided to get started. It was cold (February), but I was eager and full of energy after being shut up all winter. I salvaged a bunch of old 4×4’s and set them on some bricks and cinder blocks (all free). I built a 8×10 square from reclaimed pressure-treated 2×4’s I got from a guy who had torn down his deck. He posted them on craigslist and I’ve been using them for every single project I’ve done over the last few years. He gave me almost 500 linear feet of 2×6’s!

I leveled the whole thing by adding and removing bricks. You’ll want to do that under the 4×4’s. When it was close, I laid across the pallet 2×4’s using the center 4×4 as a stringer. This worked very well as I did not need to cut any of the 2×4’s– I simply laid them side to side.

Notice the funky pallet 2×4’s in the picture– they have small, half-oval sections missing. This is where you would slide in the pallet jack.

The overall area is approx. 8×10. The playhouse itself is 8X8, the two-foot protruding section is where the deck will go. Throughout the build process, I constantly had to adjust spacing and the like to accomodate the roughly 4-foot 2×4’s and 30″ 1x (one by) lumber. I had various pieces of plywood for the floor, but I also had to make sure that the floor joists were no further apart than 15″, in case I had to use any of the 1×6’s. Why 15″? Because the short lengths of lumber need to have an alternating “butt” end, much like brickwork. A long, continuous joint would be too weak. By alernating, you add strength.

Step 18: Floor, continued

laying the floor

 

The particleboard came from….what else? Pallets. I actually grabbed a bunch of them just for the 3/4 inch particleboard. The underlying wood, the 2×4’s and the 1x’s weren’t really up to par (they were oak and hard as granite), but I found a use for them here and there. The particleboard caused me some concern later when it began to rain. I thought they’d fall apart, but they actually held up well.

You can see the middle beam where the 2×4’s meet really well in this picture. I toe-nailed all the 2x lumber to the 4×4’s, every two feet or so. This is important– I may want to move the whole structure at a later date.

Continued Page 4…

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